It sounded like a story dreamed up by a little boy. But to understand what Colton Burpo said, you have to hear his journey.

It all started on a trip to Colorado. Colton complained of a stomach ache. After a trip to the doctor, his diagnosis was the flu.

Back home in Nebraska, another doctor's visit, but still no improvement. Then, Colton went downhill fast.

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It turns out, he was misdiagnosed. The then-three-year-old had a ruptured appendix.

While in surgery, his parents, Todd and Sonya, prayed in separate rooms. They thought they had lost their little boy.

After a difficult recovery, Colton survived, but the things Colton did and said after the surgery were out of the ordinary.

Until a drive past the hospital, four months after surgery, none of it made sense. His dad jokingly asked Colton if he wanted to go back to the hospital.

Todd said, "I'm looking at him in the mirror, and he says that the angels sang to me. I looked and he is just dead serious."

While in heaven, Colton says he saw many things and met many people, including Pop, his great-grandfather, who died 30 years before Colton was born.

But Colton says he didn't look like the photo in his house. A picture sent months later by his grandmother was more like the man he met, a young man without glasses.

The most surprising part of Colton's story was when Colton confessed to his mother that he had more than one sister. But he only has one sister. His parents never told him about the miscarriage.

Colton says, "She looked familiar and she started giving me hugs and told me she was glad to have someone from her family up there."

Over time, the young man's visions became more real, from his description of Jesus, to his talks with God, even a discussion about Armageddon.

The Burpo family has accepted and embraced their little boy's unbelievable story. They put the words on pages and prayed for guidance.

Todd says, "I kind of laid my fleece down. I don't know how to publish a book, but if you really want me to do this, you're going to have to have the publishing industry find me."

And somehow that happened. So far, 500,000 books have been printed. Bookstores across the country are trying to get more copies.

They're on eBook readers, audio tape, and it made the New York Times Bestseller list. And now Colton, now 11, continues to share his testimony of what he says he saw in heaven.

Todd says, "I don't know why He picked us. God did a remarkable miracle for us."

Is heaven for real? If you're a person of faith, you may accept this as a real experience, or you may opt for a more medical or scientific explanation, like an overactive dream state.

As for the Burpo family, they now have renewed faith that you will eventually be reunited with your loved ones, and that heaven is for real.